DV Lottery based IV set to expire in May and travel restrictions are in place

#1
Hi there,

My family have immigrant visas that were issued from the DV lottery that are set to expire May 21.
Our issue is that the Australian government has put a travel advisory of "Do not travel" to all countries during this COVID-19 pandemic. Because of this and the ongoing travel disruptions and health concerns, it appears that we may not be able to use our visa before that date.

We have contacted the US Consulate in SYD and they have informed us that an extension would not be possible until the original visa expires. Further to this they state the replacement cannot be guaranteed is is based on the availability of diversity visa's remaining in the region.

Am I correct in assuming that we would fall under either of these two categories when requesting an extension on our visa:

9 FAM 504.10-5(A) (U) Issuing Replacement Visa During Validity of Original Visa
(CT:VISA-411; 07-20-2017)
a. (U) If you are satisfied that an applicant will be or was unable to use an immigrant visa (IV) during its validity period because of reasons beyond the applicant’s control and for which the applicant is not responsible then you may issue a replacement visa with the originally allocated visa number within the same fiscal year even though the visa has not yet expired. You should recall and cancel the originally-issued visa and collect once again the appropriate IV application processing fee (including the Diversity Visa Lottery Fee for a DV applicant), unless the applicant was unable to use the visa as a result of action by the U.S. Government over which the alien had no control and for which the alien was not responsible.
b. (U) An applicant who will be or was unable to use an IV during its validity period because of reasons within the applicant's control can submit a new visa application if the petition has not been revoked and if the basis for immigration still exists (i.e., familial relationship). This also applies for new IV applications outside of the original IV's fiscal year of issuance.

Also please see below the response email we received from SYD.

Thank you in advance.

There are currently no special accommodations for applicants whose visas have expired or are about to expire due to being unable or not wanting to travel during COVID-19. If you are unable to immigrate to the United States during the validity period of your immigrant visa, we may be able to issue you a replacement visa (to extend the validity).

We will review your eligibility to receive a replacement visa on a case-by-case basis, but we are not able to review your case until your current visa has expired.

Please note that one of the requirements for a replacement visa is that the basis for your immigration to the United States still exists (e.g. familial relationship, U.S. job offer, etc.) If you are deemed to be eligible for a replacement visa, this would require submission of a new visa application fee, a new medical and/or Australian Federal Police certificate. Furthermore, you may be required to update Form DS-260 along with attending another interview for the replacement visa at the U.S. Consulate General, Sydney.


If you fall under a category where visa number(s) are limited each year, then an immigrant visa number was only available for your use within the month your visa was issued. There is no guarantee that visa numbers will be immediately available for your visa replacement. You may also want to review the Visa Bulletin for further information on visa number availability.

Note: Due to the limited number of visas that may be issued under the *Diversity Visa program, numbers may cease to be available even before this date.

In light of the above guidance, if you wish to apply for a replacement immigrant visa, please email us after your immigrant visa has expired. The subject line of your email should be "REPLACEMENT IMMIGRANT VISA: [Surname, Given Name]." In your email, please describe the circumstances which led to your decision to not use your visa during its validity period, as well as the purpose and desired timeline for your future immigration to the United States. We will review and respond to these requests on a case-by-case basis.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
 
#3
Travel advisory is not a mandatory ban, and there are still some airlines that fly between Australia and the US.
True, but it would be incredibly irresponsible to fly a family of three (including a 2 year old) across the Pacific during a global pandemic.
Also it would be in neither country's interest at this point for us to contract/share coronavirus.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
#4
#5
there are still some airlines that fly between Australia and the US
This week, sure. From next week and continuing on until at least the end of May, who knows. Apart from being irresponsible to your own and family's health, and being in direct contravention to your own government's travel advisory, there's a high likelihood that there won't be any flights, and any you do book could quite easily end up cancelled. It's changing by the day. A few days ago I thought Qantas would still fly. I also thought the 14-day quarantine would serve as replacement for closed borders. This could be over by June. It could be in the middle of the peak in July. No-one knows.
 

Rajiv S. Khanna

HOST, Immigration.Com
Staff member
#6
Good morning everyone. I begin with a very simple examination of the advisability of travel and effect on health of children. Obviously, I would not want anyone to take that risk. As to whether or not these are “circumstances beyond your control” remains open to interpretation. I so wish that the government would respond with alacrity to these situations, but we don’t yet have word on this.

when I get a minute, I will check some decided cases and update.
 
#8
Unfortunately it may be a moot point. If the Sydney consulate refuses to issue a new visa before the current one expires, what choice to we really have?
Disagreeing with their decision may impact our chances of getting a new visa after this one expires.
 
#11
We will figure it out better with a little time. Hang in there!
Sir, I have heard somebody saying that even if consulate agrees to reissue visa due to covid 19 pandemic, they can not reissue it after 30 september(fiscal year ends). Does it apply to all immigrant visa or only diversity visas? My visa is Cr1...does this thing apply to my visa as well?
 

Rajiv S. Khanna

HOST, Immigration.Com
Staff member
#12
Sir, I have heard somebody saying that even if consulate agrees to reissue visa due to covid 19 pandemic, they can not reissue it after 30 september(fiscal year ends). Does it apply to all immigrant visa or only diversity visas? My visa is Cr1...does this thing apply to my visa as well?
I am a little handicapped in that we do not routinely work on DV cases. Have you emailed the consulate?
 
#13
I am a little handicapped in that we do not routinely work on DV cases. Have you emailed the consulate?
My visa is not diversity visa sir...I am asking about cr1 visa....is there anything like that if in case I need to apply for reissue of visa, can consulate be able to reissue it after 30 september(fiscal year ends)?
 

Rajiv S. Khanna

HOST, Immigration.Com
Staff member
#14
Oh sorry. All other visas should be issuable if the dates are current or the visa number already taken for you. Check the link I have posted. The fiscal year is irrelevant, as far as I see.
 
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